Although hamsters are a popular and inexpensive pet for children, the price of cages and accessories can quickly take their toll on the checkbook. Decorative hamster cages in multiple colours with add-on features can cost several times more than the pet itself. Creating a cheap hamster cage from items you already have around the house is possible, and simple. Add a few key pet accessories, and you're on your way to a custom hamster palace at a fraction of the cost of a store bought hamster cage.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Plastic or rubber tote
- Measuring tape
- Chicken wire
- Wooden yard sticks
- Staple gun
- Hamster bedding
- Fabric fasteners
- Ceramic bowl
- Hamster water bottle
- Hamster running wheel
- Hamster food
- Hamster chew treats
- Facial tissue box
Find a large plastic or rubber storage tote. Choose a tote with at least a 12 inch depth. Wash the tote with one part bleach to 20 parts hot water. Rinse thoroughly and dry well. Inspect the tote for any holes or weak spots. Only choose solid, sturdy totes for the base of your hamster cage.
Make a wire mesh lid for the hamster cage. Measure the top opening of the tote. Cut a piece of chicken wire or fine wire mesh material the same size as the tote opening. Measure the length and width of the tote opening, and cut pieces of old wooden yard sticks to match. Lay the four wood pieces out in a frame shape and place the wire over the top. Use a staple gun to attach the wire to the wood. Lay the mesh lid over the top of the tote.
Line the bottom of the tote with absorbent hamster bedding. Choose wood pulp based bedding or wood pellet bedding for odour control and maximum absorbency of urine. Add at least one inch of bedding so the hamster can make tunnels, burrow and hide.
Attach fabric fasteners to the middle of one of the interior walls of the tote. Attach a hamster water bottle to the fabric, so the nozzle is about two inches from the top of the bedding. Make sure the hamster can reach the water bottle nozzle, and adjust the height of the bottle as necessary.
Place a ceramic food bowl in the tote. Keep the bowl near the centre of the tote, as hamsters usually sleep, urinate and defecate in the corners of their cage. Fill the food bowl with hamster pellet food and sprinkle wooden or mineral-based chew treats around the bottom of the tote for the hamster to find.
Set a metal or plastic free-standing hamster wheel in the centre of the cage. Provide hiding houses purchased from a pet store, or cut door holes in an old facial tissue box for an inexpensive hamster house.
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